Rob is a battle-tested patriot who has committed his life to service, whether that be for the U.S. armed forces or the people of his home town. After graduating from Canisius College, Rob answered the call of his nation and signed up to serve his country.
After our nation was attacked on September 11, Rob enlisted in NY Army National Guard.
He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he served from March 2008 until December of the same year. His mission was to serve as a combat mentor and advisor to the Afghan National Police in Kandahar City, the second-largest city in Afghanistan. As the Executive Officer and Unit Movement Officer for an infantry company, he managed logistical needs of the company to achieve operational readiness.
Rob has direct experience securing our border. In 2006, Rob was stationed along the U.S. Southern Border as part of the recently-declassified “Operation Jumpstart.” The operation supported border security and construction of a border fence. As part of scout and reconnaissance teams, Rob witnessed illegal aliens and drug smugglers crossing through the Nogales (Arizona) desert. Because of this first-hand experience, Rob knows how important it is to defend our nation’s borders, enforce our laws, and maintain national sovereignty.
Over the course of his service in the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant, Rob received the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge in recognition of his service.
Rob decided to continue his service in his hometown of North Tonawanda. He served as a City Treasurer and then as Mayor. In 2015, Robert G. Ortt was sworn into office as a New York State Senator for the 62nd District. For two terms, Rob chaired the New York State Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, where he advocated for the well-being of those in need of mental health and developments services.
Rob has been consistently recognized for his leadership and independence in the New York State Senate. He’s been outspoken on hot-button issues such as illegal immigration, where he’s led the charge against free college tuition, drivers’ licenses, and free health care for illegals. As a champion of the pro-life community, Ortt called attention to legislation providing abortions on-demand in New York. He was also successful in helping expand free college tuition to Gold Star families, which made national headlines after it was blocked by Democrats in the New York State Assembly.
As the sponsor of several bills to repeal New York’s “SAFE Act,” Rob has worked tirelessly to defend the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers.
Rob is currently the Ranking Member of the New York State Senate Committee on Agriculture, and the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs. One of the accomplishments he is most proud of was introducing and expanding the Joseph P. Dwyer Program across western New York. The program provides peer-to-peer support program for veterans facing the challenges of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and reintegration into civilian life.
Rob lives in North Tonawanda with his wife Meghan.